Notre Dame Athletics | December 30, 2018
ARLINGTON, Texas — The University of Notre Dame football team's undefeated season came to an end Saturday, as the No. 3 Irish fell to No. 2 Clemson 30-3 in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at AT&T Stadium.
Injuries and close calls seemed to fall against the Irish on Saturday, as Notre Dame (12-1) saw three of its top defenders leave the field at points. Clemson (14-0) took advantage, outscoring the Irish 20-0 in the second quarter to create distance and while stifling Notre Dame's offensive attack.
Safety Alohi Gilman provided a bright spot on the defensive side, setting the CFP record and tying the Notre Dame bowl record for tackles with 18. For the CFP mark, he surpassed the previous record of 15 set by Ohio State's Raekwon McMillan in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, while he matched Rod Smith's 18 against Florida in the 1992 Sugar Bowl. Linebacker Te'von Coney recorded 16 tackles while linebacker Drue Tranquill accounted for 11.
The Irish defense also recorded three sacks (one each by Julian Okwara and Adetokunbo Ogundeji and half-sacks for Coney and Tranquill), the second-most allowed by Clemson this season.
Clemson outgained Notre Dame 538-248 including 327-160 through the air. Irish quarterback Ian Book finished 17-for-34 passing for 160 yards, with Miles Boykin leading Irish receivers with five catches for 69 yards. Senior running back Dexter Williams led the Irish with 54 yards on the ground.
Notre Dame's 12-1 finish marked its second straight campaign of at least 10 wins, with its 22 total wins the best such stretch since 1988-89 (also 22 wins).
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